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Philippine expert, Dr. June Lopez, joins the UN’s torture prevention body
On Torture
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 17:06

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PRESS RELEASE

Philippine expert, Dr. June Lopez, joins the UN’s torture prevention body

Dr. June Caridad Pagaduan Lopez, the Philippines, was elected to the United Nation’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT).

Dr June Lopez, currently Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines in Manila, is an expert on forensic evidence and psychiatry with focus on torture, sexual violence and trauma.

Her election, along with 11 other experts, to the UN torture prevention body was welcomed by Mr. Mark Thomson, Secretary General of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT):

“This election brings greater diversity to the Subcommittee. I am certain that the SPT will greatly benefit from Dr. Lopez expertise as a psychiatrist and her long experience in teaching and research on torture and other human rights violations,” he said.

The Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture is the international body established under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), which sets up a system of independent monitoring visits to all places where persons are detained, such as prisons, police stations and psychiatric hospitals. With its 25 members the SPT is the largest UN treaty body. Dr. June Lopez was elected as one of 12 new experts to replace SPT members whose terms of office will expire by the end of 2012.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 17:14
 
Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers
On Torture
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:22
PRESS RELEASE
Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers
More than 600 people participate in the annual Basta Run Against Torture in time for the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture today, June 26, 2012. Now in its 6th year, anti-torture advocates challenged the security sector to declare torture free detention centers in words and in deeds.
“This year’s BRAT aims to bridge the gap between the commitments and policies on one hand and practices on the other of the security sector and other government agencies with respect to the issue of torture. It hopes to exact the commitment of AFP, PNP and BJMP to declare their places of detention as torture free and stand firm on their commitment.” Joy Lascano of Balay Rehabilitation Center, representative of UATC said in a statement.
The United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), a network of anti-torture advocates engages the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to publicly announce their commitment to proclaim a policy of complete prohibition of torture in all places of detention.
Lascano of UATC further said that, “Three years after the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, only a handful of cases have been filed. The attempt to prosecute perpetrators is fraught with difficulties due to a lack of transparency from the security sector and the unfamiliarity of prosecutors and judges about the law on torture. None of these cases have seen a just resolution.”
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), also a member of UATC on the other hand documented 23 cases with 40 victims of torture under the P-Noy administration (as of May 2012). According to the group, the data shows that practice of torture on the ground still persists
while no one get punished.
BRAT 6 was participated by Amnesty International-Philippines, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Medical Action Group (MAG), Balay Rehabilitation Center, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the #rememberML@40 campaign committee.
Also present are CHR, PHRC, DILG, DOJ, PNP, AFP and BJMP.
PRESS RELEASE
June 26, 2012
Rights Groups run to challenge Security Sector: Declare in words and deeds torture free detention centers
More than 600 people participate in the annual Basta Run Against Torture in time for the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture today, June 26, 2012. Now in its 6th year, anti-torture advocates challenged the security sector to declare torture free detention centers in words and in deeds.
“This year’s BRAT aims to bridge the gap between the commitments and policies on one hand and practices on the other of the security sector and other government agencies with respect to the issue of torture. It hopes to exact the commitment of AFP, PNP and BJMP to declare their places of detention as torture free and stand firm on their commitment.” Joy Lascano of Balay Rehabilitation Center, representative of UATC said in a statement.
The United Against Torture Coalition (UATC), a network of anti-torture advocates engages the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to publicly announce their commitment to proclaim a policy of complete prohibition of torture in all places of detention.
Lascano of UATC further said that, “Three years after the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law of 2009, only a handful of cases have been filed. The attempt to prosecute perpetrators is fraught with difficulties due to a lack of transparency from the security sector and the unfamiliarity of prosecutors and judges about the law on torture. None of these cases have seen a just resolution.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:31
 
TFDP calls for an immediate resolution of the Habeas Corpus petition of a torture victim
On Torture
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:13
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is alarmed over the continued detention of Abdulkhan Balinting Ajid, a torture victim presently detained “for safekeeping purposes.” This was according to an order by Judge Leo Principe of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 1 of Isabela City, Basilan when Ajid’s captors surfaced him on July 27, 2011.

The hearing of the Writ of Habeas Corpus and determination of the legality of the arrest of the military ended last September 2011 and both parties already submitted their offer of evidence.  Until now, however, the court has yet to decide on the petition. And all the while, Ajid’s right to liberty is being curtailed without a case filed against him.

On July 23, 2011 at about 5:30 in the morning, Ajid was forcibly taken from his residence in Barangay Libug, Sumisip, Basilan Province by members of 39th Scout Rangers under Operation Task Force Basilan (SOTF-B). Ajid narrated how his captors made him suffer.  Gasoline was poured on his body and he was set on fire. A bottle was also inserted in his anus. His head was wrapped with a plastic bag and he was strangled. He was subjected to intense tactical interrogation and was forced to admit that he is Kanneh Malikil, the subject of the arrest warrant.
The continued detention of Ajid, while the Judge has yet to decide on the petition for writ is a violation of the Ajid’s human rights. The victim has suffered a lot of trauma, especially since he should be recuperating from the torture he was made to suffer.

TFDP urges Judge Principe to immediately decide on the habeas corpus petition in order for Ajid to be released from detention the soonest possible time.###

For more details please contact:

RITA MULATO MELECIO
Mindanao Team Leader
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
# 214, Earth St., GSIS Heights, Matina, Davao City
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 13:15
 
Urgent Action: Torture of Abdul-Khan Balinting Ajid
On Torture
Sunday, 21 August 2011 09:39

Dear Friends,

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC) write to inform you about the arrest and alleged torture committed to a native of the Yakan tribe in Barangay Libug, Sumisip, Basilan Province, island of Mindanao.  He was arrested on July 23, 2011 at about 5:30 in the morning. The alleged perpetrators were members of Special Operation Task Force Basilan (SOTF-B) belonging to 39th Scout Rangers under the command of Colonel Alexander Macario.

VICTIM                         Abdul-Khan Balinting Ajid, 39 years old, married   
DATE OF INCIDENT        July 23, 2011 at about 5:30 a.m.
PLACE OF INCIDENT      Barangay Libug, Sumisip, Basilan Province


__________________________________________________________________
CASE BACKGROUND:

Abdul-Khan Balinting Ajid, a native of a Yakan tribe, and a baker for eight (8) years was forcibly taken inside their house on July 23, 2011 at about 5:30 in the morning, in Barangay Libug, Sumisip, Basilan Province, and later tortured by his captors. The alleged perpetrators were members of Special Operation Task Force Basilan (SOTF-B), belonging to 39th Scout Rangers under the command of Colonel Alexander Macario.

According to Noraisa Imban Induh, Ajid’s wife, midnight of July 22, they already sensed that there were some persons monitoring outside their house. At 4:30 the following morning, she and her wife were already awake. While Ajid was preparing the dough, a stone was thrown at their house and then somebody kicked the door and forcibly opened it.  A group of uniformed men wearing camouflage entered their house. Ajid was ordered to lie face down. He was kicked at the back and both of his hands were tied using a plastic straw.

Noraisa said that two (2) of their children who were present during the incident lost consciousness because of fear upon seeing soldiers with long firearms. The soldiers searched every part of their house and destroyed their belongings, as well as the ingredients and equipment in the bakery. Noraisa was asked if they possessed a gun. She answered in the negative.

After searching the house, the soldiers then grabbed Ajid who was still lying face down on the ground.  He was dragged out of the house and was made to walk towards an approaching six-by-six truck. Reportedly, there were about 40-50 soldiers involved. Ajid was told that he will be brought for investigation.

Ajid narrated that he was first brought to Magdal place and stayed there for 15 minutes.  They then passed by Tipo-tipo, Basilan and went to a military brigade. He was blindfolded throughout their travel but he managed to see a little bit so he was able to recognize the place where he was brought to.

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 August 2011 09:44
 
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